here are several different opinions regarding MTV’s short-lived comedy program Sifl and Olly. You either loved them, hated them, or forgot them. For those of you who missed out, the show was based around two sock puppets that, through a series of quick and bizarre skits, pointed out just how strange the variety program was. One of the big attractions for some was the hyperactive performances of both original and traditional songs. Liam Lynch, the co-creator (and voice of Olly) penned many of the tunes for the series. Unfortunately, you won’t find anything on par as the bizarre “Weird Day” or their blissfully odd cover of “Convoy” on Lynch’s debut record, Fake Songs.
The opening track, “Still Wasted from the Party Last Night,” finds Lynch slurring his way through the motions, going on about being high and drunk and trying to get to work. The end of the song is particularly funny, as the singer transposes different parts of the lyrics closing the song as one that was truly still wasted would. It yields some good laughs. He sounds high after all, and when he sings ‘I’m wasted... and naked,’ it provokes an image of that guy, the guy that nobody wants to look at, lest they be challenged.
“Electrician’s Day” is funny in an ‘I can’t believe he thought of that on the spot’-kind-of-way, but doesn’t really hold up upon repeated listens. The televangelist angle is an unoriginal one, but the lyrics and their delivery are pretty humorous. “Toe Bass Ace,” however, comes across like the worst thing They Might Be Giants ever recorded, with nonsensical (and non-funny) lyrics: ‘no one plays the bass like the toe bass ace.’
Perhaps the most heinous crime commited here, are the generally weak parodies. The fake Bjork song blends struggling-with-English breathy vocals and a canned keyboard beat for a vague approximation of the chanteuse. The same goes for the David Bowie parody, which pokes fun at his obsession with space, while the take on the Pixies misses Black Francis’ voice, but captures the one-note guitar thing pretty hilariously. Overall, though, the point is missed- everyone knows these things already. Parody, when successful, points out less obvious things and to greater comic effect.
Overall, this is probably a good album to listen to once and then pull out at parties for “United States of Whatever” and maybe “Still Wasted...” There are a few isolated moments of greatness, like the ‘mama said knock you out’ in the otherwise useless “Happy”, but nothing that would really warrant further listens. Like many comedy albums, it delivers initial laughs, with few surprises for continual listening.
Reviewed by: Tyler Martin
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01